Painting the Kootenay landscape

'Splendor'by Nicole Hobbs.
— image credit: Nicole Hobbs

Nicole Hobbs tracks her history as a painter back to a high school art class in her hometown of Chetwynd, BC, where at age 14, she put brush to canvas and created the nature scene that started it all.

Her art teacher was impressed with her work and invited her to study with him at a painting program in Mexico that he ran in the summers. She attended the program, and loved painting there so much that she moved back to Mexico for five years after high school.

She continued to work with her high school teacher, helping him establish an art gallery and receiving lessons to develop her own skill as a painter.

“I loved painting there because everything’s so bright and full of contrast, and I just wanted to capture that” the 28-year-old said.

About five years ago she decided to move back to BC, and chose Nelson on the recommendation of someone she met down south.

“I worried I’d have nothing to paint in Canada,” she laughed.

Of course, she found plenty of inspiring scenes in the Kootenays. Her recent work features snowy mountains, colourful sunsets and familiar cityscapes.

Last summer she started exhibiting her work, getting her first Nelson show as an artist in Art Walk.

Since then, her work has been shown at Dominion Cafe and El Taco. She has a new exhibit opening at Out Glass on Friday.

Hobbs says she’s been painting like crazy to have new work for the Our Glass show.

“I like to make every show a little different, rather than just moving the same art from one location to the next,” she explained.

Her first painting — the one she did in her high school art class — will be included in the Our Glass show.

“That one’s not for sale,” she said, though all her other originals will be.

She also sells prints, postcards and magnets of her work. For more information about Hobbs, check out her website at nicolerosehobbs.com.

Nicole Hobbs’ art opening is February 15 at Our Glass from 7 to 11 p.m.

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